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06 Jul 2019
Spain to meet defending champions in the final
After beating both groupmates, defending champions Russia will play Spain in the Euro Beach Soccer Cup final
Russia will try to retain their title when they meet La Roja in the final of the European championships in Nazaré.
An inspired performance from the returning Marina Fedorova helped Russia sweep aside Netherlands to top the group, while Spain defeated Czech Republic in an initially tight game to join the defending champions in the final.
Sunday will see England take on Switzerland in the third-place play-off, while Czech Republic and Netherlands will contest fifth.
Russia 7 - 2 Netherlands (Group 1)
Russia had taken an early three points in their opening match against England the previous day, and their next test in Group 1 was against Netherlands.
Goalkeeper Silina opened the scoring with a belting strike, putting Russia ahead after just four minutes and then Fedorova drove home a freekick from a long way out to double the lead.
Before long she had two when she burst into the centre and struck into the bottom corner. At the first break Russia had three but it wasn’t long after the break when the best player in the world netted her third.
It went to 5-0 when an unfortunate Mariel touch saw the Dutch defender turn into her own net. In the final period Khutornaia made it six but the Netherlands showed they had teeth when Nancy Loth blasted in a Dutch opener straight from the restart.
Minutes later she converted a freekick to make it two to Netherlands, but it wasn’t long until the Russia hit back through Sheva to reopen a five-goal gap.
This was how the match ended, and Russia confirm their spot at the top of Group 1, having defeated both of their rivals. England and Netherlands would now fight over second place.
Goals: 1-0: Silina, min. 8 (1); 2-0: Fedorova, min. 7 (1); 3-0: Fedorova, min. 4 (1); 4-0: Fedorova, min. 10 (2); 5-0: Mariel (OG), min. 9 (2); 6-0: Khutornaia, min. 9 (3); 6-1: Nancy, min. 9 (3); 6-2: Nancy, min. 6 (3); 7-2: Sheva, min. 3 (3);
Switzerland 6 - 3 Czech Republic (Group 2)
The two-time Euro Beach Soccer Cup runners-up, Switzerland, had missed out painfully to an extra time strike by Sara Gonzalez of Spain.
Czech Republic struck first on the second matchday, when Culova scored after four minutes, but it didn’t take long for the Swiss to respond though Schenk. A fine effort from Folpprechtova restored the Czech lead but once again they were brought back when Sandra Kalin equalised 30 seconds from the first whistle.
She then converted again after the restart to poke Switzerland ahead for the first time in the match. The Czech captain Jungova was on hand to keep the match tight but in the final two minutes of the second period, goals from Morger, and then a second for Schenk saw Switzerland go into the last 12 minutes with a two-goal lead.
Czech Republic didn’t recover from this sudden period of Swiss attack and were kept at bay effectively for the remainder of the game. Vincenz began the final period by making it six to Franziska Steinemann’s side and this is how the score stood at the final whistle.
The Swiss took the win, but Czech Republic still had a chance to pick up points later on when they met former champions, Spain…
Goals: 0-1: Culova, min. 8 (1); 1-1: Schenk, min. 7 (1); 1-2: Folpprechtova, min. 5 (1); 2-2: Kalin, min. 0 (1); 3-2: Kalin, min. 8 (2); 3-3: Jungova, min. 4 (2); 4-3: Morger, min. 2 (2); 5-3: Schenk, min. 1 (2); 6-3: Vincenz, min. 11 (3);
England 5 - 4 Netherlands (Group 1)
Neither side could now reach the final as they had both suffered defeat at the hands of their Russian rivals, but a third-place spot at the 2019 Euro Beach Soccer Cup was still up for grabs.
The match was tight and both keepers made brilliant saves until the deadlock was finally broken by the Dutch captain, Aaike. Netherlands had the lead going into the second period but England had put their star player, Molly Clark in goal to maximise their attacking threat.
The change in tactics paid off, as the number ten sent a rocket past her opposite number to level the scores. Then Sarah Kempson pulled off the seemingly impossible in scoring one of the goals of the tournament, a looping effort from her own half.
Gemma Hillier then swept in a corner to make it three and the tables had been well and truly turned on the Dutch.
But as the third period began Netherlands hit back with three quick-fire goals before England could even blink, as Celine scored and then Aaike netted her second and third of the day in just a minute.
The Dutch were back in front and time was ticking and England, who had let a two-goal lead slip at a crucial time. But two long-range efforts, first from Katie James and another from Molly Clark took the score to 5-4 by the time the final whistle sounded.
After snatching the game, the Lionesses who will now contest the third-place play-off after finishing Group 1 in second.
Goals: 0-1: Aaike, min. 1 (1); 1-1: Clark, min. 10 (2); 2-1: Kempson, min. 6 (2); 3-1: Hillier, min. 4 (2); 3-2: Celine, min. 9 (3); 3-3: Aaike, min. 9 (3); 3-4: Aaike, min. 8 (3); 4-4: James, min. 6 (3); 5-4: Clark, min. 5 (3);
Spain 5 - 2 Czech Republic (Group 2)
With a win today, Spain could knock the Group 2 leaders, Switzerland off the topspot and join Russia in the final. But Czech Republic were not going to go down easily…
The first period saw bars rattled and keepers scrambling at either end but no goals. The Czechs were proving hard to get past and a breakthrough didn’t come until the second period when Carla pounded in the opener for Spain
However, Culova rose high above the keeper to head home an equalizer. Lorena struck from distance to nudge La Roja ahead once more, but again they were pinned back by the stubborn Czech Republic, and this time it was Pilouskova who found the net.
Mellado found space to blast in number three for Christian Mendez’ side and just before the second whistle, Carla scored a screamer from her own half to push the advantage to two.
Period three saw Spain hold on to what they had, with just the one goal being score by Sara Gonzalez, a fine effort that hit the bar on its way into the net.
Czech Republic will play Netherlands for fifth place, and with three points in the bag, Spain will meet Russia in the final; but who will be crowned queens of Europe for the second time?
Goals: 1-0: Carla, min. 10 (2); 1-1: Culova, min. 8 (2); 2-1: Lorena, min. 7 (2); 2-2: Pilouskova, min. 2 (2); 3-2: Mellado, min. 2 (2); 4-2: Carla, min. 0 (2); 5-2: Sara, min. 9 (3);
For all the fixtures, results and standings of the Euro Beach Soccer Cup Nazaré 2019, click here.
England 1-3 Russia (Group 1)
Spain 5-4 Switzerland (Group 2) *AET
Russia 7-2 Netherlands (Group 1)
Switzerland 6-3 Czech Republic Group 2) *Pitch 2
England 5-4 Netherlands (Group 1)
Spain v Czech Republic (Group 2)
Netherlands v Czech Republic (5th-place play-off)
England v Switzerland (3rd-place play-off)
Russia v Spain (FINAL)